The cartographic authorities of Venezuela have now received up-to-date information for cartographic and environmental planning and decision-making purposes: The German Infoterra GmbH, a subsidiary of the European satellite company EADS-Astrium, has delivered the last of 518 radar maps and the corresponding digital data to a very satisfied client, the Instituto Geográfico de Venezuela Simón Bolívar (IGVSB) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN). Thus, the project CartoSur II, mapping an area of 262.000 km² (Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro and the northern part of the state of Bolívar) using airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar technology, was successfully finalized.
From now on, these radar ortho-images at a scale of 1:50.000 can be used in various application areas. Primarily, they are the data basis for new cartographic maps of the area. In addition, they can support the monitoring and controlling of natural resources, or the realization of forest inventories within forest protection activities. In addition, national, regional, and local spatial planning and infrastructure development projects may revert to this recent information.
For the past 20 months, Infoterra and its partners, the Brazilian Orbisat Remote Sensing S.A. and the Venezuelan Cartográfica Mercator S.A., closely supported by the experts of IGVSB, worked on the project, which included the construction of an all new interferometric synthetic aperture airborne radar sensor transmitting in X- and P-band (OrbiSAR 1), designed specifically for the unique environmental conditions of equatorial areas. In addition, the data acquisition with this airborne sensor, careful data processing within a specifically developed and mostly automated processing chain, and an extensive quality control were accomplished. The establishment of this operational production scheme allowed a timely delivery of the subject of the contract, and puts the consortium into an excellent starting position for upcoming similar projects.
Throughout the entire project, the consortium´s experts were present in Venezuela´s capital Caracas, where the CartoSur II processing center was established. The incorporation of Venezolanean experts, that were extensively trained by the consortium, was an important key to the success of the project, and accomplished an effective technology transfer into the country of Venezuela, this being one requirement within this World Bank-financed project.
Based upon the radar ortho-images of the projects pilot area, El Manteco in the state of Bolívar, Infoterra derived additional value added information such as conclusions on the land use situation and change control mechanisms. Furthermore, an archiving concept, which will store and save the valuable datasets from loss for at least ten years, has been developed and implemented.
Infoterra GmbH, leader of the CartoSur II project, and responsible for quality control and product deliveries, is a 100% subsidiary of EADS-Astrium GmbH, and is part of the Infoterra-Global Group. Infoterra employees in Germany and the United Kingdom acquire and process airborne and spaceborne remote sensing data into client specific information products. These products are used in various application areas including agriculture and forestry, regional planning, cartography, and exploration of natural resources.
The Infoterra-Group is established among the leading suppliers of geo-information products and –services worldwide. In addition to using satellite data supplied by various providers today, Infoterra will be able to exclusively use and market the data provided by TerraSAR-X, a new radar satellite which is currently being developed and constructed by EADS-Astrium GmbH and scheduled to be launched in 2006. This satellite is designed to deliver – independent of daylight and weather conditions – high-quality radar data for commercial applications. This data will improve the quality of the information products generated by Infoterra even further.
Orbisat Remote Sensing, being responsible for the provision of the airborne radar and the processing of the radar data, is part of Orbisat da Amazônia S.A, residing in Campinas, Brazil. Orbisat Remote Sensing is able to carry out similar propjects wordwide.
Mercator S.A. was responsible for field logistics of the airborne campaign, geodetic measurements and the operation of the processing facility. Mercator is the leading Venezolanean engineering company with professional skills in geodetic and topographic matters.
Alumno: Juan José Núñez Ceballos